IB Diploma Programme at Huron High School: What is CAS?Image result for CAS

The IB provides the following information about CAS:

CAS is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning.

                                        

CAS is organized around the three strands of creativity, activity and service defined as follows.

Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.

  •                                                 

Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.

  •                                                 

Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.

As a shining beacon of our values, CAS enables students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development. A meaningful CAS programme is a journey of discovery of self and others. For many, CAS is profound and life-changing. Each individual student has a different starting point and different needs and goals. A CAS programme is, therefore, individualized according to student interests, skills, values and background.

Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, students reflect on their CAS experiences and provide evidence in their CAS portfolios of achieving the seven learning outcomes.

Students are assessed using the 7 CAS Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing news skills in the process

LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan for a CAS experience

LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

LO7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

Families: How you can help with CAS!

• Help your student brainstorm CAS ideas.

• Engage in CAS experiences with your student!

• Check-in on your student’s CAS progress by asking them to pull-up ManageBac.

• Connect your student with people you may know in the community for various opportunities.

• Encourage your student to attend the after-school Monthly CAS experiences hosted by the school.

• Help your student find a club that can count for CAS by looking together at the list of clubs at Huron.

• Ask your student how reflections on CAS experiences are going.

• Take photos of your student engaged in CAS experiences so they can upload them as evidence.  

• Help your student brainstorm what could make for a good CAS Project.

• Help your student use the CAS Handbook available at: http://bit.ly/HuronCAS

Sample Month of CAS experiences

Month

Experience

Strand

Learning Outcomes Met

September

Soccer season starts (7 hrs./week)

Link Crew train & volunteer (6 hrs)

Huron Park Cleanup (1 hr.)

Leading Scout Hike (2 hrs.)

Screenprinting at AADL (1 hr.)

Piano Lessons + practice (6 hrs.)

Activity

Service

Service

Activity, Service

Creativity

Creativity

1, 3, 4, 5, 7

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

1, 3, 4, 5, 7

1, 2, 3, 4

1, 2, 3, 4,

CAS Project

The following description is taken from the CAS Guide:

“A CAS project is a collaborative, well-considered series of sequential CAS experiences, engaging students in one or more of the CAS strands of creativity, activity, and service. CAS students must be involved in at least one CAS project during their CAS programme.”

A CAS project can address any single strand of CAS, or combine two or all three strands, such as:

Creativity: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural.

Activity: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams.

Service: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need.

Creativity and Activity: Students choreograph a routine for their marching band.

Service and Activity: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community.

Service and Creativity: Students identify that children at a local school need backpacks and subsequently design and make the backpacks out of recycled materials.

Creativity, Activity, and Service: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home.

Creativity and Service:

Students set up a music mentoring program between a high school and middle school and work one-on-one with students playing the same instruments.

Huron Diploma Programme: CAS FAQs for students and families

Q: When am I supposed to enter experiences into ManageBac?

A: Ideally, you need to add your experiences BEFORE you do them.  As the CAS Coordinator, I need to read, assess, and approve of your experience.  

Q: Do I have to do CAS throughout the whole two years or can I just do it all in the summer after junior year?

A: IB believes that CAS should happen throughout the two years with consistency.  This doesn’t mean that you must be engaged in Creativity, Activity, and Service all at the same time, but rather that you should be engaged with at least one of the above at any given moment.  

Q: When should I complete reflections and add evidence?  

A: You must complete reflections and add evidence very soon after completing the experience.  If the experience is an hour long, you should complete the reflections and evidence within a few days.  If the experience runs several months (or even up to your entire DP), you complete the reflection at the end of the experience.  

Q: I’m involved in an experience that has several parts to it (like a sport with practices, workouts, and games).  Should I log them all separately?  

A: No.  Enter it in as one experience.  Remember that it is to your advantage to enter it as one since you will only have to do one reflection and evidence as opposed to many.  

Q: Can I have my parents be my supervisors?  

A:  This is a tricky one.  There will be times where your family/friends can be the supervisor.  My advice to students is that family/friends cannot and should not be the only supervisors for experiences across the two years.  

Q: I don’t really like playing school sports.  What are some other Activity experiences I can engage with?  

A: Join a biking group, Ann Arbor Ultimate Frisbee, canoeing/kayaking, take a class through Rec & Ed, join a gym and work with a trainer, run a race, go hiking.  

Q: Can I do my experiences all by myself?  

A: Generally, no.  Remember that one of the learning outcomes is about collaboration.  While some experiences might be executed partially on your own (like practicing an instrument before lessons), there will probably be another person  or people involved.   

Q: If I travel and visit a city, can I count that as Activity?  

A: Just visiting a city does not automatically quality for CAS.  Remember that it must meet the definitions in order to count.  Perhaps you go on a hike or kayak while visiting a city.

Q: Can visiting an art museum count for Creativity?

A: No, since this does not meet the definition of Creativity.  If you were to create something that mimics the style of an artist that you see, then you could count the creation of the artwork as your experience.  

Q:  I help my family with things around the house, gardening, etc.  Can I count this as Service?  

A: No.  Service is meant to get you out into a larger community.  Perhaps you could find an aging neighbor in need of some assistance that you could help.  

Q: I walk at school every day in the hallways.  Can I count this for Activity?  

A: No.  Think of CAS experiences as things that you specifically do in order to meet the definitions of CAS.  

Q: Does my CAS Project have to be a Service project?  

A: No.  Your CAS Project could be exclusively in Creativity, Activity, or Service.  It can also be a combination of more than one.  

Q: Am I allowed to do CAS with other students?

A: Absolutely!  CAS can be even more fun when friends are involved.

Q: Am I allowed to do a CAS project with others?

A: Yes!  If the other students are DP students, they can also count it as their project as long as all DP students have equal responsibility.  

Q: Do I have to complete a certain number of hours for CAS?

A: No.  IB did away with the hours requirement because they found that students were just trying to meet the hours and be done.  In order to meet all 7 learning outcomes, there must be engagement in several CAS experiences.  

Q: If I don’t have to accrue hours, how am I assessed on CAS?

A: Students are assessed on the 7 Learning Outcomes and meet to get feedback from the CAS Coordinator.  

Q: What requirements are they for the CAS Project?

A: 1. It must be a month or more in duration,
2. It must be collaborative in some sense,
3. It must be in Creativity, Activity,
or Service (or more than one strand),
4. The student must lead or initiate the project.  

Q: What is required besides the experience?  

A: For every experience, you must log the experience in MB, collect some type of evidence (photo, certificate, product, etc.) and reflect on that experience. 

Q: Do I have to reflect through writing?

A: No! You can choose to reflect through writing, song, photos with captions, video, audio.  IB states that you can pick what feels most useful to you.